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Prospect Watch: The Vote

16 Mar

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Earlier today, I asked you to tell me what shows you watch on TV when there isn’t baseball available to watch. Thanks for the responses Now I am going to ask for your help again. However, this is something that you have helped me with before. For those of you who have been around for awhile, you know of The Prospect Watch. Each year, I like to highlight the performances and statistics of some of the Twins top prospects. The last couple of years, I have asked you to help me determine who we will follow. So again, I would like you to vote for up to six Twins prospects that you most want to see included in the Twins Prospect Watch. The six players with the most votes will start the season in the Prospect Watch.


So pull out your Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, check out my Top 50 Twins Prospect rankings, check out Aaron Gleeman’s top Twins Prospect review, or Josh Johnson’s Top 50 Twins prospects. The only criteria is that the player no longer have Rookie eligibility.


Pretty simple really… I will take your votes through Friday at 6:00 p.m. central, and over the weekend I will post the results. Just e-mail me your picks (again, up to Twins prospects).


Meet Some Twins

7 Jan

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Winter in Minnesota can be a drag. I was driving around Northern Minnesota on Sunday night and the temperature reading in my car read ‘-20.’ So, on Monday morning, driving to work, that same gauge read as low as ‘-31.’ I heard reports from people in the areas that such readings were as long as ‘-40.’ Now that is cold! At the same time in the Twin Cities, temperatures were above zero. Temperatures varied from the Canadian border to the Metrodome by as much as 45 degrees.


But as you know, that is no reason to stop thinking about baseball. In fact, if you’re a Twins fan, this is really an exciting time of the year. Why? Hey, you’ve got a few opportunities to meet some of the Twins players and coaches, and members of their media.


Each year, the Twins set out on their Winter Caravan, making stops around the Upper Midwest. This year, starting next Monday (January 12th), the Twins will be doing it again. The Northwest Tour will include Gardy, Joe Vavra and Glen Perkins. They will make stops in Little Falls, Wahpeton (ND), Grand Forks, Thief River Falls, and many stops in between. Yes, Gardy will be making another appearance in Fargo. I wonder if he will joke about being more careful with his words there! The same day, the Northern Tour will begin. Mike Redmond and Matt Guerrier will travel to Duluth, Ely, Bemidji, Wadena and points in between, also making several stops over a four day period. The following week, the Central Tour will feature Kevin Slowey, Jesse Crain and Bert Blyleven and they will travel from Rochester to St. Cloud, to Marshall and many other towns. At the same time, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn, Rick Anderson and Dan Gladden will be working the Southern Tour. They will travel from Northfield to New Ulm and throughout northern Iowa. For the full press release and list of communities the Caravan will be traveling, click here. I have attended three or four of these events (here and here, and here) and they truly are a lot of fun. The players and others do a very good job connecting to their fans.


Then that weekend (January 23-25), the Twins will host Twins Fest at the Metrodome.  Now again, I have been to the last three Twins Fest events (2006, 2007, 2008) and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Twins Fest is an experience that I think all Twins fans should experience at least once. They have things to do for people of all ages. Sure, it’s a big collectibles show with cards, pictures, magazines and much more available. There are going to be over 50 current, former and future Twins players signing autographs throughout the weekend (specific schedule still to be determined). There are games and events for younger kids. There is the ball park concessions (WHAT? Admit it, you miss the dome dog!). There are locker room and press box tours. There are a lot of events that make it worthwhile. I am planning on ordering some tickets ahead of time because they are cheaper.


For those of you who have purchased your copy of Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009 already, consider bringing your copy of the book to any of these events. Specifically at Twins Fest, there are going to be many players in attendance that are mentioned in the book. Don’t you think it would be pretty neat to have them sign their profile? One great thing about Twins Fest is that players with no major league experience are found signing in the Down on the Farm section (an area where they highlight each of their affiliates). As of right now, it appears that 12 minor leaguers will likely be in attendance (although my guess is that they will add another 3-5 minor leaguers as well). Those who are listed to be in attendance include Drew Butera, Cole Devries, Brian Duensing, Toby Gardenhire, BJ Hermsen, Kevin Mulvey, Trevor Plouffe, Ben Revere, Andrew Schmiesing, Anthony Slama, Anthony Swarzak and Steven Tolleson. That is already a very impressive collection. Each of these players is included in the book. Other prospects who are profiled in the book, but whose autograph you will need to pay something for ($5 or maybe $10 for their autograph and others in their group) include Philip Humber, Bobby Korecky, Matt Macri and Jason Pridie. And hey, if a player isn’t mentioned in the book, there are two pages for Autographs in the book as well. Here is a challenge for the most ardent autograph collector… see if you can get signatures of each player in the Prospect Handbook. I would be impressed. (Oh, and if you do get a book signed by any players, I definitely want to hear your stories, or if they said anything about it!)


For those of your who have not yet purchased your copy of Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009, or want a few more for your collection, you can still get yours in time for Twins Fest. To do so, you will need to go to, do a Search for Minnesota Twins, and purchase it. Another option is to just click here and then buy your copies! Of the 210 copies that I ordered to cover pre-orders and some media requests, I now have just three copies left. So I just ordered another 80 copies. I should have them before Twins Fest but would not be able to get them to you on time.


And then the following week, the final Winter Caravan group will head out. Denard Span, Jason Kubel and Tony Oliva will travel the Southwest Tour. That group will also head into southwest Minnesota, but also cover most of eastern South Dakota.


And then just a week or two later, it will be time for pitchers and catchers to report. Then the other position players will report. Then the WBC will start and spring training games. And then Minor League spring training, and before we know it, Opening Day!


Now don’t you feel just a little bit warmer?


Any thoughts? Please leave your comments here.

NOW AVAILABLE: Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009

27 Nov

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your turkey, napping and football watching with family and friends.

Would you prefer to stay away from the shopping malls which are opening at crazy times in the middle of the morning? Would you like to complete your Christmas shopping for all of your Minnesota Twins fan friends and family members without leaving your home?

The Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009 is now available online at You can order your copy by clicking here, the SethSpeaks Storefront. (or click on the book above) When you get to the site, you can click on the book title and see a brief preview of the book, leave reviews and more.

On the site, you can order the copy in two ways. The paperback version of the book is available for $12.95 plus shipping and handling. You can also purchase an e-book, the pdf version of the book, for $8.00.

Again, if you would like to read an excellent review of the book, please check out the Over the Baggy review here.

Here is a press release:


Minnesota Twins Farm System; Its Greatest Asset

Who will be the Next Joe Mauer or Justin Morneau?


Now available just before Christmas at is the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009. This 81 page book profiles over 175 players in the Twins minor league system. It contains a Foreword by Twins reliever Pat Neshek and several Twins prospect rankings. It is a great gift for fans of the Minnesota Twins and their minor league affiliates.

In 2008, the Twins received significant contributions from several players who have been promoted to the team within the last two years including Denard Span, Kevin Slowey, Alexi Casilla, Nick Blackburn, Glen Perkins and even September call-up Jose Mijares. The staples in the middle of the Twins lineup, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Jason Kubel, and Michael Cuddyer were all drafted and developed in the Twins system.

Following players as they come up through the ranks makes the average fan feel better because losing Torii Hunter and Johan Santana can make anybody depressed. Seth is more of an optimist and adds, “Over the past several seasons, the Twins have called up a lot of players from the minor leagues. Each year there are new players. It is fun to know about those guys before they get to the big leagues. It is really just an extension of being a Twins fan.”

When asked, how much fun is it to see a player start with the Twins Gulf Coast League (GCL) team and a few years later have a locker with his name on it in the Metrodome, Seth responds, “I’m sure it’s not as much fun as a writer as it is for the player himself. But we all have had that dream, and getting to follow a player from when he is drafted and signed, through the promotions, the struggles, the successes, for them to reach that ultimate dream is a joy.”

One of the positive aspects to find and follow the next Twins All-Star is getting to interview these new players.  It is difficult to obtain a good read on players from just a box score.  Seth looks back on some of his past interviews on his blog, and remembers Mike Radcliff has had a couple of really good ones. Matt Garza did one in early 2006 while he was still with the Ft. Myers Miracle. David Winfree has had a couple of very good interviews. Seth has kept in contact with players like Pat Neshek, Kevin Slowey, Jeff Manship, and others.

Seth has been writing about the Minnesota Twins and their minor league system on a daily basis since June of 2003 and now he is passing all his experience to you. Pat Neshek says of the book, “The culmination of all his (Seth’s) hard work is this book that is deeper than anything ever published on the Minnesota Twins Minor League system.”

Read about players who are likely to be ready to make a contribution in 2009, who might be able to plug the gaps in case of injuries, and which players have the best chances to become household names after the Twins have moved into the Target Field in 2010. Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009, will be made available online at or


If you would like more information about this topic or to schedule an interview with Seth Stohs, please email Seth at  

Tuesday Tidbits – Weekly Twins Podcast Live Tonight at 8:00!!

25 Nov

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I’m tired. I went to Madagascar at the theater tonight, then watched the end of that Monday Night football game. I’m tired.

BOOK UPDATE – By the way, the book is done! In fact, on Sunday night, I placed the big, bulk order for all of the pre-ordered books and a few more. Thank you to all of those who have paid already. If you haven’t paid yet, please do so. I hope to receive the books within a week to ten days, and as soon as I do, I will send them out. Be sure to check back here on Thursday night. I will provide a link for you to be able to order your own copies of Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009. Who wants to deal with that crazy day-after-Thanksgiving shopping fiasco? Buying Christmas presents online is the way to go. And the book is the perfect gift for any Twins fan! So again, check back for more details later in the week.


PODCAST TONIGHT – I am normally bad about posting the Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast schedule early enough, but not this week. Here is the schedule for tonight’s live show, which starts at 8:00 central time.

8:00–8:05 – Seth Introduction

8:05-8:30 – Tim Dierkes, creator of the all-important MLB Trade Rumors, the best site online for any free agent and trade rumors around the league.

8:30-8:58 – Aaron Gleeman and The Twins Geek, John Bonnes, will join me for the last half hour. That’s a lot of blogging years in one podcast!

I think it sounds like a very good show, if I do say so myself. If you’re able to listen live, please join the Chat Room and ask questions. I will ask our guests.



·         Baseball America is set to announce its Top Ten Twins Prospects on Tuesday. I have seen the list, and it looks pretty solid, like you would expect from Baseball America. In fact, I really can’t argue with it much. John Manuel did a nice job. It’s not like it is 100% the same as mine, but there aren’t any crazy picks either. Well, there is a highly ranked reliever, and I didn’t have him close to where he was ranked. If not for some limited time with the Twins, I don’t believe this reliever would have been anywhere near the Top 10, but I also understand his inclusion. Nice job, Mr. Manuel.

·         Random Question – Last year, Torii Hunter signed with the Angels on the Eve of Thanksgiving, the Twins/Rays trade happened right after Thanksgiving, Carlos Silva signed in Seattle, and the entire offseason was filled with Johan Santana trade rumors. This year, it is completely different. The Twins just don’t have as many things to deal with, at least not as many high profile issues to address. Third Base, sure, if the right deal presents itself. Shortstop, definitely an area where improvement would be good. The bullpen, not a big deal. Everything else appears pretty set. The Twins have just not been terribly involved even in rumors. There were all kinds of ridiculous Delmon Young rumors early in the offseason that likely had little backing. There were talks of Garrett Atkins, and there is the whole Casey Blake thing. This offseason is so different, and for the most part, that is a good thing. The only negative is that it will make the offseason so much longer. I still think that something major is going to happen, whether it is a surprise free agent signing (I agree that the Twins should not sign any of the type A free agents) or more likely, a semi-big trade. The rumors just have not really been there, at least nothing truly worthy of following. What do you anticipate the rest of the way out?


I’m going to keep this short, but again, please stop back from time to time. I anything happens Twins-related, you can read my analysis here. Have a great day!


     Any thoughts, please e-mail me, or leave Comments here.

Quick Notes

19 Nov

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RADIO APPEARANCE TODAY (Really!) – I was bumped yesterday, but today I will be on The Fan am740 in Fargo, on Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. I will be on during the noon hour with Dan Hammer of The Dan Hammer Show. It should be fun talking about the Twins and any other topics that he would like to talk about. So, if you are within a one-hundred or so mile radius of Fargo, try to tune in. If not, and you’re interested in listening, the station does have an online option to Listen Live. Check it out if you have a chance and let me know what you think.


PODCAST LAST NIGHT – There was another Weekly Minnesota Twins podcast last night. It was on live from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. central time. I thought it was a good show, although thrown together very quickly. Also, with Aaron Gleeman on KFAN at the exact same time, I imagine more people will listen to the podcast throughout the week than listened live. That’s alright! Here were the guests:

·         Tom Swift – Swift is the author of a book on Minnesota’s first baseball Hall of Famer, Chief Bender. The book is titled Chief Bender’s Burden. Now, Bender was a Hall of Fame pitcher in the very early 1900s. He was also a Native American. Although he was allowed to play in the Major Leagues, he was not treated well. But his personality, patience and perseverance made him truly an American hero, and yet, his name is not as well known as other heroes. That is too bad, and this book is a wonderful account of what Chief Bender endured and the great story that his life was. Please check out Tom Swift’s website for information on how to purchase your copy of Chief Bender’s Burden.

·         John Meyer Joe Benson was going to be on for about 15 minutes to discuss his offseason, but he notified me that the time just wouldn’t work. We will get him on again though. On quick notice, John Meyer really stepped up and helped me out by coming on the show. Meyer is the writer of a Twins blog called Minnesota Twins Most Valuable Blogger. He is about to celebrate his first year of blogging this weekend. Good for him! We talked about several Twins topics from the MVP award, to 3B options, to the bullpen and much, much more.

·         Nick Papasan – The final guest of the evening is a Twins prospect that I really think will be worth watching over the next couple of years, Nick Papasan. The 20 year old infielder was the Twins 24th round pick in 2006. He signed late and spent 2007 with the GCL Twins before a shoulder injury prematurely ended that season. He had a terrific spring training in 2008 and hit .389 with four extra base hits in just ten games with Elizabethton before injuring his hand on July 4th. He missed the remainder of the season. He gave us an update on his hand and his offseason as well as his thoughts on the Twins organization, working with Paul Molitor and his goals.   


BOOK UPDATE – Nothing really new to update. I just wanted to take a quick opportunity to thank the bloggers who have taken time to post nice comments on me and the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009 on their sites. Here are several links to the blogs that mentioned my site. I ask that you take a minute or two and check them out. If they are not already in your list of Favorites, please consider adding them:

·         The Twins Geek

·         Aaron Gleeman

·         Nick & Nick’s Twins Blog

·         Josh’s Thoughts  

·         Stick & Ball Guy

·         Twins Fix

·         Taylor’s Twins Talk

NESHEK SURGERY UPDATEPat Neshek’s wife Stephanee updated his great fans in the message board of Neshek’s blog. She reported that the surgery was successful, as is said after every surgery, but she said that they were told it went better than that. You’ll have to check out the full note from Stephanee on the message board for more specifics, but she pointed out the Pat is tired but resting. Again, we wish Pat and his whole family the best through this time!


WEEKLY OFFSEASON ROUNDTABLE – I have agreed to participate in a weekly roundtable with some other Twins bloggers over at Twins Territory. This week, our panel answered three Twins related questions. Be sure to check them out.


ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE UPDATEThe Phoenix Desert Dogs lost 14-8 on Tuesday to Peoria. 

·         Steve Tolleson went 2-3 with a walk and is hitting .386.

·         Anthony Slama came in to pitch the 7th inning. He gave up four runs on three hits and two walks in the inning. He struck out one.

·         Tim Lahey came in for the 8th inning. He gave up one run on one hit.

·         Rob Delaney pitched the 9th inning. He was perfect and had one strikeout.  

Any thoughts, please e-mail me, or leave Comments here.

Media Update

28 Oct

also available at

Hey everyone, it’s going to be quick tonight (for me). I have a couple of media related topics to cover and a few notes, the Arizona Fall League update and a little more. If you just checked the site once on Tuesday morning, please scroll down and notice that I added five “Quick Updates” to it. There were a few very good links that you should check out.


First of all, there was a new Weekly Twins Podcast tonight from 8-9. I thought it again went very well. It started with a brief introduction before Josh Whetzel, the radio voice of the Rochester Red Wings, called in. We talked a lot about many players on the Red Wings 2008 roster as well as the recent coaching announcements. Josh is a tremendous guest and answers all questions very well. In the second half of the show, Aaron Gleeman called in. Now, you all know Aaron Gleeman from,,, and He came on and talked about some of his upcoming projects and plans, but we spent the majority of the time talking Twins. We talked about current players, possible free agent signings, some names that have come up in trades, Delmon Young and the OF, Nick Punto and SS and much more. In fact, the live podcast finished at 9:00 and Aaron stayed around for another 15 minutes, so I really appreciate that. I encourage you to listen to the podcast if you have a chance (if you’re at work, be sure to wear your head phones!). If you have any comments on the show, please send me an e-mail or leave some comments.   


Secondly, on Wednesday morning at 11:00 central time, I will be on The Fan 710, Bismarck-Mandan’s (ND) ESPN affiliate. I will talk Twins, World Series, football, and other topics on The Jack Michaels Show. It is always a lot of fun to join Jack and talk sports. So, if you are in North Dakota, northern South Dakota, eastern Montana, southern Manitoba or western Minnesota and can tune into am 710, please be sure to do so. If you are out of that range, you can also Listen Live online at The Fan’s site.


Third, a quick book update. Last week, I put an order in for one copy of Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009. It is going to be my edit/proofread copy. I should be receiving it via mail in the next day or two. I will then read through it once and try to make as many corrections as necessary. What is interesting is that when I ordered it just over a week ago, it had about ten fewer pages than it does now. In other words, I have added more content. I have added profiles for approximately ten more Twins prospects, so we are well over 175 profiles now. I plan to take about a week to edit before sending in another revision and getting one more final edit copy. Once I review that, it will become available. If you are looking for an approximate timeline, as of today, I am looking at about a November 17th release. It will be available at I think I am also going to order up a bulk shipment for myself to be able to sell individually or to others. Who knows? Maybe there’ll even be a book signing or two! Anyway, just want to keep people updated. I haven’t yet figured out a cost, but you can guess it will be somewhere between $15-18 depending on final costing. I want to make sure it is priced so that people can buy a copy (of ten), but I also have to make sure that it makes sense. This is just a quick update, but I would really like people to send me an e-mail with your thoughts on the book. Would you order a copy? Would you be interested in ordering a dozen? Do you have any advice? I just really want to make sure that I provide a book that people will like and it will give them what they need. As a first book, I don’t expect it to be perfect, but I really want it to be very good and worth people’s time and investment. Thanks!


Here are some more thoughts and notes:

·         Over the Baggy takes a look at the Twins prospects that showed the most improvement in terms of Strikeout Rate.

·         Keeping up with the Twinkie Town Prospect list, yesterday Rene Tosoni was voted the #21 prospect with Michael McCardell then running away with the choice for Prospect #22. The vote for Twins Prospect #23 was just posted, so be sure to go there to vote and discuss.

·         If you have a chance this Saturday to take in a charity event, please consider attending “Pups in the Park” which is being put on by Stephanee Neshek and some of the other Twins wives/fiancées. It’s a great organization, so please consider it. (Note, for more information, check out Pat Neshek’s website, where Stephanee gave some more details.)


Arizona Fall League Tuesday Update

·         On Tuesday, Phoenix won 12-7 over the Surprise Rafters.

·         Steve Tolleson went 2-5 which dropped his average to .431. I called Tolleson an Unsung Prospect early in the season. I am now to the point where, if the Twins don’t address the SS or 2B position, Tolleson could be given an opportunity in Spring to fight for a big league roster spot. But the Twins value defense, and Tolleson also committed his 6th error of the short AFL season.

·         Dustin Martin went 1-3 with a walk and two RBI.

·         Danny Valencia was 1-4 with his fourth double and two runs scored.

·         Rob Delaney gave up one run on two hits in the seventh inning. He struck out one.

·         Tim Lahey struck out two in a scoreless 8th inning. He struck out two.

·         Anthony Slama then came in for the 9th inning. He got just one out. He gave up two hits and two walks. All four scored (3 earned). He threw 34 pitches and got just one out.      

Any thoughts, please e-mail me, or leave Comments here.

Weekend (and Book) Updates

19 Oct

also available at

Alright, this time I am certain it can be said… Congratulations to Grant Balfour, Jason Bartlett and even Matt Garza! The Tampa Bay Rays are on their way to the World Series! What a game! How impressive did David Price look closing out that game? Good control. Fastball 94-96. Slider between 86 and 88. He’s got stuff that we saw from Francisco Liriano in 2006, well, without Liriano’s changeup. The #1 overall pick in the 2007 draft who didn’t make a pitch in a professional baseball game until the end of May is going to be a star.

I have already been asked for my thoughts about Matt Garza and how good he would look with the Twins. Maybe he’s the next Josh Beckett! No question, he was very good last night and got two wins in the ALCS to be named the ALCS MVP. But a few games in the playoffs doesn’t make it a bad trade. I still call the trade even and when Delmon Young becomes the player I still believe that he can become, it will be just fine. The Twins had depth in pitching and were able to get a bat that they can have in the lineup every day. In reality, Jason Bartlett was as big a part of that deal as Garza. But Garza would have fit in nicely as the Twins #4 pitcher in 2008. No question. I definitely believe that the Twins missed Jason Bartlett a lot more than Matt Garza. The best thing though was that TBS was able to interview Garza before he got too much champagne, unlike when he was interviewed after the Twins made the playoffs in 2006. Hey, Garza did a Q&A on this site back in 2006, so I have to like him.


Who in the world would have predicted a Phillies/Rays World Series matchup?! That would have been crazy to do! But now we have just that. Unfortunately, the series won’t start until Wednesday. I know I’ll be watching! That may not mean much to the folks at Fox.


Arizona Fall League Friday Update

·         The Phoenix Desert Dogs beat Surprise 8-7

·         Dustin Martin batted 6th, played LF and went 1-5.

·         Danny Valencia played 3B and batted fifth. He was 2-4 with a walk and his second double.

·         Steve Tolleson batted second and played SS. He went 1-4 with an intentional walk and his second stolen base.

·         Tim Lahey pitched the eighth inning. He gave up two hits, but no runs in his inning.

Arizona Fall League Saturday Update

·         Phoenix lost 10-9 to Surprise.

·         Steve Tolleson batted second and played SS. He went 2-5 with his second double and three RBI.

·         Danny Valencia played 3B and batted fifth. He went 0-4 with an RBI and three strikeouts.

·         Dustin Martin played LF and batted sixth. He went 1-4 with his second double.

·         Rob Delaney came in for the 8th inning. He got just two outs and gave up a hit and two walks. All three came around to score.

·         Anthony Slama came in to replace Delaney and gave up a two run double off the wall to score the tying and leading runs. He got the next batter out to end the 8th inning.

Book Update


I don’t know if this is an update or not as I haven’t officially announced it on this site. I did tell people who listened to the podcast last Tuesday night though. I have been working on writing a book the last week to ten days. Tentatively, it is called “Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook – 2009.” It will have player profiles on over 170 Twins minor leaguers. I see it as a handbook that Twins fans and fans of minor league baseball can use as a reference tool. The Twins have called up a lot of players from Rochester the last two years. Who are these guys? It can be a quick update on any player in the system. Fans of the New Britain Rockcats will want to read updates on what players who played there in previous years did and learn more about who the next players they may see will be. There will be a couple more pretty neat things included in the book, so hopefully it is something that you would consider buying. At this point, I am not going to say much more about the book. It is still in draft stage and has a bit of work to be done. My goal would be the have it available before Christmas, but that is dependent on, without specifics, timing. I mention it to you now already to drum up a little interest. If you have any questions or comments regarding the book, please e-mail me. I am curious on finding out if it if something that Twins fans or fans of the Twins minor league system will buy. Thanks!


Any thoughts? E-mail me or leave your Comments here.